Banbridge Newry and Mourne Area Plan 2015: Judicial Review (JR) and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)
Published on Tue, 27 Nov 2007
Murdoch Group Limited applied for a Judicial Review into the Draft Plans SEA in November 2006.
Murdoch Group Limited applied for a Judicial Review into the Draft Plan’s SEA in November 2006. Leave was granted for the DBNMAP JR, however, it was agreed that the hearing should be adjourned until a Reserved Judgement had been made on two similar Judicial Reviews into the SEAs which accompanied the Draft Northern Area Plan (DNAP) 2016 and Draft Magherafelt Area Plan (DMAP) 2015.
The hearing into the Northern SEA and Magherafelt SEA took place from 28 November to 1 December 2006 and 25 and 26 January 2007, respectively. Mr Justice Weatherup’s judgement in respect of both these challenges was handed down in the High Court on Friday 7th September 2007.
The remedies hearing took place on 8 November 2007 and the judgement was handed down on 13 November 2007. The Court accepted the Department’s argument that neither the Draft Magherafelt and Northern Area Plans nor the Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2004 should be quashed and instead granted the following declarations:
- the designation of the Department of Environment (DOE) as ‘the consultation body’ under Regulation 4 of the 2004 Regulations does not properly transpose Articles 5.4 and 6.3 of the Directive, where DOE is also the responsible body that promotes the plan or programme;
- the absence of appropriate timeframes in Regulation 12 of the 2004 Regulations does not properly transpose the requirements of Article 6.2 of the SEA Directive.
- the Environmental Report prepared for the DNAP and DMAP is not in substantial compliance with the Schedule 2 of the 2004 Regulations and Article 5 and Annex 1 of the SEA Directive.
- the sequencing of the Environmental Report and the DNAP and DMAP was not in compliance with Regulations 11 and 12 of the 2004 Regulations and Article 4 and 6 of the SEA Directive.
The Department welcomes the ruling not to quash either the Plans or the Regulations and will now consider it and its implications in consultation with legal advisors.
A date for the hearing into the DBNMAP SEA has yet to be scheduled.